Rhonda Vincent was singing the Tennessee Ernie Ford song 'Sixteen Tons' one recent morning, following notification from a shipping company whose truck was on its way to her house.

"I got this call from the dispatcher at this trucking company and they wanted to know if I had a lift gate or a forklift," Rhonda tells The Boot. "I told the lady, 'Well, I don't know what the first thing is but I do know I don't have the second. [laughs]'"

The dispatcher went on to explain that a semi-truck was headed to Rhonda's home, which caused even more of a problem since they are not allowed in her neighborhood. "I told her I'd come and get it," Rhonda continues, "and that was when she explained that it was almost one ton of whatever was in the boxes."

At that point, Rhonda realized it must be something from Martha White, which is her tour sponsor. A spokesperson for the company had called Rhonda a few weeks before and asked her if there was anything that she needed. Rhonda told them that she would love some promotional items to give away with her new record, a duet album with country great Gene Watson, titled 'Your Money and My Good Looks.' A few days later, she received some posters and other things from Martha White, so she thought that was what she was being sent.

Instead, Rhonda asked someone from her record company to pick up the shipment. However, it was so heavy that it broke the struts on his pickup before he even got it to her house. When the package finally arrived at her home, Rhonda discovered that it contained 461 commemorative cast iron skillets from Martha White.

She was able to make good use of the skillets, though, handing them out to the first 200 people who bought the duet album on June 7 at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in downtown Nashville. She and Gene were on hand to sign autographs and talk with fans an on Thursday night (June 9), they hosted a party for the official release of the CD, and gave away more of the skillets.

"Some people asked us to sign them, but they come seasoned and ready to cook in, so other folks said they planned to use theirs," says Rhonda. "Martha White has been good to us over the 10 years that they've been our sponsor. They were so gracious to send us those skillets to give our fans."

The new CD, 'Your Money and My Good Looks' has some strong ingredients as well. It even contains the warning label, "This is real country music."

"George Jones says it's the real deal," Rhonda said proudly. "It is straight-ahead country music. I don't think anyone is recording traditional country music in this style anymore."

The first single (and video), 'Gone for Good,' was written by Jimmy Melton of the 45 rpms, a group that plays traditional country music the fourth Wednesday of every month at Nashville's Douglas Corner. Gene and Rhonda often sit in with them when they're in town.



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